The Ohio State Fair opened Thursday but the rides won’t be in operation until they’re deemed safe, a day after a teen boy was killed and seven other people were hurt when a thrill ride broke apart.
Video captured by a bystander at the fair Wednesday evening shows the Fire Ball ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air, and then it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off. Screams are heard as passengers are thrown to the ground.
Officials did not know what caused the ride to break apart.
As a result, the Fire Ball ride has been shut down at Edmonton’s K-Days exhibition, underway now, and will no longer be a part of Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition opening Aug. 18.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the details of the incident were “a nightmare,” but that the state would do everything “humanly possible” to both investigate and ensure the safety of the rest of the rides at the fair, which runs until Aug. 6.
Kasich said it will be up to visitors to make their own judgment when the rides resume, but that accidents occur on ski lifts, roads and in the air.
“We wish we could eliminate them,” he said.
The man who was killed was one of several people thrown to the ground when the ride malfunctioned. He was identified as Tyler Jarrell, 18, of Ohio. Jarrell had just enlisted in the Marines.
The injured, which included the deceased’s girlfriend, range in age from 14 to 42 and were all from the state, the Ohio State Patrol said in a release.
Ohio State Medical Center said three people were being treated there. Two patients remain in critical condition and another is in serious condition after multiple surgeries, according to a hospital statement.
The fair opened Thursday but David Daniels, director of the Agriculture Department, which regulates amusement park rides in the state, said the midway wouldn’t open until a complete inspection of rides had occurred.
Daniels said the safety of the fair’s guests is a top priority and that the state has qualified inspectors and also uses third-party consultants.
But, he said, “amusement rides are mechanized pieces of equipment and they can fail from time to time.”
Kaylie Bellomy described witnessing the tragedy as part of the next group waiting to board the Fire Ball.
“It was going for a minute and it was at its highest point and I saw somebody fall on the ride, and then a minute later the whole like row of seats fell off and hit the ground,” Bellomy told WCMH-TV.
It was chaos afterward, she said. “Everybody was running. I got ran over trying to get out of the way.”
A company providing rides at the Ohio State Fair this…